College admits 565 students from record-large pool

by Eileen Brady | 1/4/18 2:15am

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The College saw its largest early decision application pool ever, with 2,270 applicants.

by Lauren Kim / Lauren Kim/The Dartmouth Staff

Dartmouth welcomed 565 students into the Class of 2022 during this year’s early decision round of applications, accepting 24.9 percent of a pool of 2,270 applicants, the largest pool of early decision applicants in the College’s history. The number of applications increased 13.6 percent from last year. According to a College news release, the group of admitted students, who will make up roughly 47 percent of the incoming freshman class, includes 145 student athletes, 26 QuestBridge finalists and almost 100 valedictorians and salutatorians.

With early decision students comprising 47 percent of the student body and an expected 96 percent early decision acceptance yield, the admissions office projects 542 enrolled early decision students from the Class of 2022 and an entering class of around 1,150. The Class of 2021 yielded 1,279 students, the largest class in Dartmouth’s history due to the highest yield rate in 25 years. The numbers come as Dartmouth enlists a task force to examine increasing enrollment numbers. A student body size of 1,150 would be a 2.6 percent increase over the average first-year applicant enrollment count, according to the College's Office of Institutional Research's admissions fact book, from the five class years prior to the Class of 2021.

Vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid Lee Coffin attributed the increase in early decision applicants largely to an expansion of the admissions staff and a change in the narrative presented about the admissions process.

“[Because of the expanded admissions staff], we were visiting more schools in more places than we were able to do in the past,” said Coffin, adding that the admissions office has been “developing a new narrative for the admissions process that really focuses on the connection between faculty and students,” which he said is one of Dartmouth’s greatest strengths.

This year’s pool of early decision applications was comprised of a more diverse socioeconomic class than past years, a change that Coffin said likely resulted from the implementation of a new net price calculator this year, MyinTuition, which is being used for the first time by 15 colleges and universities. While the College offered a net price calculator in the past, MyinTuition is more straightforward and easier to use, according to Coffin. Dartmouth saw the second-highest traffic on the calculator of the 15 participating schools, which Coffin believes translated into more early decision applicants from lower and middle socioeconomic backgrounds.

“There is no reason for you to wait and compare packages when you have the net price calculator,” said founder of college admissions consulting firm Ivy Coach Bev Taylor, emphasizing that students who need financial aid are no longer at a disadvantage when applying early since they can compare the costs of different schools prior to applying.

Zack Nathan, an accepted student from Toronto, Canada, said that he considered Dartmouth’s academic reputation and its smaller classes when deciding to apply early to the College. He added that early decision applications may also provide prospective students with an advantage in admissions.

“Applying to a school like Dartmouth, it’s a real long shot,” Nathan said. “I did some research, and I did see that [applying early decision] gives you a much better chance to get in, so that definitely factored in.”

Erica Bermeo, who will be joining the Class of 2022 from New York City, said that Dartmouth was her first-choice college because of the flexibility of the quarter system and liberal arts curriculum and the close community present on Dartmouth’s campus.

“I really wanted a tight-knit community that I would be able to depend on,” Bermeo said.

Nathan said that he is looking forward to enjoying Hanover, the nature surrounding the College and the opportunities for fun and learning the New Hampshire environment provides.

“When I’m applying to a university I’m also looking for a place to live,” Nathan said. “Seeing how beautiful Dartmouth is and where it is, with all the beautiful surroundings, made it stick out as a place where I could learn a lot and really enjoy myself.”

Correction Appended (Jan. 4, 2017):

A previous version of the Jan. 4 article "College admits 565 students from record-large pool" presumed an 100 percent yield for early decision acceptances, whereas, according to a later email statement from Coffin, the College typically yields 96 percent of these acceptances. The article has been updated to reflect this point and clarify recent class size data.